The president of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Campbell Ogilvie, has visited UEFA's headquarters in Nyon.
Talks with UEFA President Michel Platini and representatives of European football's governing body centred on developments within Scottish football, as well as UEFA's financial assistance to the SFA as part of its HatTrick programme on behalf of UEFA's 53 member national associations. Ogilvie was accompanied by SFA chief executive Stewart Regan.
Scottish football has left its mark on the annals of the European and world game, and within a rich history has produced a considerable number of wonderful players, as well as European club trophy winners in Aberdeen FC, Celtic FC and Rangers FC.
The Scots' passion and enthusiasm for the game is legendary, and Campbell Ogilvie – who became president this summer – joins his countrymen in dreaming of fresh successes for Scottish national and club teams.
Ogilvie's visit strengthens the positive bond between UEFA and Scottish football. As is the case with other national associations, he welcomes the continuing dialogue with UEFA. "We found the recent meeting [between UEFA and the associations] in Cyprus to be extremely beneficial," he told UEFA.com. "It's important with other associations to share best practice. The way UEFA operates now gives us that platform."
UEFA's HatTrick assistance is seen as a crucial helping hand for the Scottish game. "We are currently going through a whole reorganisation of the Scottish FA, on the governing and performing side," added Ogilvie. "The funds we are receiving from UEFA will go a long way in helping us make these changes, especially on various aspects of the performance structure, regional performance coaches, performance centres, scouting systems, national youth squad gatherings – the list is endless – and funds will also go directly to the grassroots."
Scotland is proud of its football history, but yearns for new glories in the future. "It's really important to retain your traditions and history, but at the same time you've got to pick out the best of that and not allow it to hold you back – we've got to move forward," said the SFA president.
"Scotland have not qualified for a major tournament since 1998, and when we accepted that we had to have a review, we took performance as being the priority – the national team winning and clubs succeeding in Europe. It's not just for the benefit of football when this happens – there's a feel-good factor within the country in general."
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